The Not-So-Great Escape

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We are in lock down.

Our little Miss1 has proven to be very different from her older siblings. She climbs, for one. And she works things out, like which lids go with which containers in our Tupperware draw. I’m over forty years older than her and I don’t have the patience for that!

Tracey was racing around this morning throwing lunchboxes into daycare bags and locating water bottles. Twice she’d needed to step over Miss1, who was sitting in the middle of the kitchen putting on her shoes. Just as Tracey zipped up the bags Miss1 stood up.

“Bye, bye,” she said to Tracey and headed to the sliding door which leads onto the balcony.

While Tracey watched Miss1 stood on tippy toes and unlatched the door before sliding it open and stepping outside.

Once on the balcony Miss1 went straight to the gate which seals it off from the yard. There she set about removing my clever childproof lock – two hair ties wrapped twice each around the latch. Suffice to say I now need to remove the word ‘childproof’ from any future reference to this arrangement.

From here, Tracey watched Miss1 descend the step and trudge up the garden path to the front gate, stand on the retaining wall and lean over to open the gate latch which would then have let her out onto footpath and within meters of the busiest road for several blocks.

Not that she got that far, of course.

Tracey swooped on her and took her back inside.  Then Tracey swooped on me and took me outside.

“Look! She could have got out! She could have been hit by a car!” Tracey ‘said’ to me. She was a little manic in a way I suspect most mothers are when something like this happens and they start to wonder what might have happened if they hadn’t been there. “You have to do something!”

“Yep,” I said, acknowledging my instructions, and Tracey disappeared inside with our youngest child.

Well it took some thinking but I managed to pull something pretty damn amazeballs out of my bag of tricks.

“Done,” I told Tracey a few minutes later.

“What? Already?”

It has to be said she didn’t look anywhere near as convinced as I sounded. Mind you, given some of my past attempts at being handy (post: Well Hung) I guess that’s to be expected.

“Yep. I used one of the elastic luggage straps,” I told her.

“The red one?”


Tracey pointed behind me. “Like she’s holding?”

Yep. Damn.

While I wrestled the strap off Miss1 Tracey informed me that tomorrow I’ll be spending part of my lunch break at the local hardware looking for a new sensible solution to try keep the Stalig Devereaux shut tight so the little Steve McQueen/James Garner wannabe can’t escape.

I’m thinking maybe something from the masking tape aisle, what do you reckon? If I strap her legs together that should slow her down.

It might nearly have to be that drastic because I suspect once I’ve put something in place to foil her attempts at leaving by the front door she’ll just start tunneling.

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I still think this should have worked. Maybe if I put the strap on the other side.

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  • We use a tractor clip (pin that goes through the hole and then a ring flips over and locks it.) So far it has kept my boys from opening the gate. At least until they get a little bigger and are strong anough to flip the clip.

    • I’ll have a look for one of them tomorrow and save my latest idea, welding it shut, as a last resort 🙂 Thanks

  • We had a little incident like this with my 2yr old a few weeks ago. I woke up at 6 to find he wasn’t in bed. All the doors were shut so you would assume he was in the house. ..nope!!! After looking for 10mins, I was inside getting my phone to call the police when my neighbor brought him back. He had our set of keys trying to break into their house. We now double lock everything!!!!

  • If Miss1 is anything like my first and fourth kids, your best bet may still be the masking tape! Both of my escape-artist kids should have had the middle name ‘Houdini’… they had the ability to work out how things worked, and the stubborness to overcome any obstacles we tried to put in their way (eg push various bits of furniture (or pets) over to stand on so they could reach the locks placed strategically at five feet high). Their skills have come in handy though – Miss11 has managed to break into the house a few times when both my husband and I thought the ‘other one’ had the keys… Personally, for our Master2, I wish I could access one of those anklets that prisoners’ wear, which would sound an alarm whenever he managed to escape the building… Good luck!

    • Oh yes, the sound of the chair being dragged around the kitchen always has us running. Well Tracey. I never hear it. But I am smart enough to get up and move if she dashes off suddenly.

  • My master 1 is the same, it drives me crazy. Unless he’s watching Thomas he’s trying to get out, usually successfully

  • Mr1 is the same, he can get our side gate open. And those childproof locks for cupboards. .. he snapped the one on the fridge and opens the one on the cleaning cupboard for me.

    He uses his trucks to climb up to get things off the bench…

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